WWF and Fundación Reale reduce the energy demand of a building by 75%

Through the project “Improve your community’s energy” that has just come to a close with a presentation of the results on an energy refurbishment pilot scheme, WWF has demonstrated that it is possible to reduce the energy demand of a building by 75% and its energy consumption by 42%. These figures translate into a considerable improvement in the quality of life for the residents of this neighbourhood in terms of thermal comfort, a reduction in external noise level and air and water filtration. In short, it has managed to go from an F certification, held by the majority of buildings, to D. It has additionally achieved a reduction of 36% in emissions.

The pilot project undertaken in collaboration with the EMVS, the Madrid City Hall’s Municipal Housing Company, focused on a building in the street La del Manojo de Rosas, no. 15 in the Madrid neighbourhood of Ciudad de los Ángeles. The building, built in 1962, was facing serious energy wastage issues as a result of its constructive features, resulting in many of its residents experiencing energy poverty. WWF and the Reale Foundation have demonstrated that it is possible to improve the quality of life of a building thanks to a pilot project on energy refurbishment. Moreover, this experience can be used to improve future energy refurbishment processes.

In line with the information presented in the report “Pilot project for the energy refurbishment of a residential building in Madrid. Lessons learned”, the result of the energy intervention on the building involved its transformation from an inefficient classification of F into one that is much more sustainable with certificate D. The results are already being enjoyed by the residents who confirm that their homes reach 18ºC without central heating whereas before they barely reached 10ºC. This significant improvement to the quality of life of the residents has basically been achieved thanks to the installation of new insulating materials on the façade. Meanwhile, the application of new technologies in energy efficiency, such as the installation of windows with forced ventilation and an experimental system of solar PV panels, has helped achieve a more efficient and habitable building.

WWF believes that to develop energy refurbishment projects such as this, in particular in economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, public funding that applies social criteria is necessary. Also essential is the effective involvement of agents in the energy refurbishment sector such as the utilities that have easy access to residents and the ability to make initial investments that can be recouped through available funding and via the energy bill.

The organisation also believes that the Public Administrations must promote pilot schemes for the energy refurbishment of dwellings, via awareness campaigns and the launch of R&D initiatives. Finally WWF considers it necessary to put market mechanisms into place that contribute to internalising the environmental costs of construction materials, so that natural and renewable raw materials, with a lower ecological footprint, have greater access to the energy refurbishment market.